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Pulvis Et Umbra - Implosion of Pain

Pulvis Et Umbra
Implosion of Pain
by Danny Sanderson at 17 October 2014, 5:46 PM

Metalcore is perhaps one of the most over-saturated and clichéd subgenres in the spectrum of Heavy Metal. In the wake of the originators of the genre came many bands that tried to emulate and even copy them, leading to a mass of unoriginal and uninspired bands coming up throughout the 2000's. Luckily for us, Italy's PULVIS ET UMBRA do not fall into this category. Forming in 2001, they are perhaps one of the earliest bands of the genre, and managed to create their own sound, which has endured long after the genre began to die out in the wake of Deathcore. After a period of relative inactivity between 2007 and 2012, the band have put out two albums in quick succession, the latest being "Implosion of Pain". This album has a lot of great elements in it, and it could very well be the best Metalcore release of the year.

"Lift Off", the song that opens this album, is essentially an electronic piece that's very repetitive, with a sound bite over the top. It doesn't necessarily set the mood or anything, but it definitely is different. When the first proper song, "Lost Moon", kicks in, it starts with a fast chug and develops into some really imaginative guitar sections, including some really good solos. It's hardly the most original thing you'll hear, but it has groove, and is a good way to introduce the listener to the album. For the most part, this is a very average Metalcore album, but often displays some LAMB OF GOD influence, particularly in the guitar work, which is a nice change from your average Metalcore bands that just opt for trying to be as insanely brutal and over the top as possible. The album's title track is a very good example of how the LAMB OF GOD sounds can improve what might have just been a bog-standard tune. "Implosions of Pain"  is actually a piece of very good and unique sounding Metalcore. This band have clearly carved out their own niche in the Metalcore scene rather than becoming a faceless carbon-copy of other bands within the genre, at least when they want to. It has riffs, power and aggression. The guitar lines are reminiscent of some of LAMB OF GOD's material, if a comparison to any band can be made at all.

The final three songs are really where the album comes into its own though; "Ordinary Scars" in particular goes down a more experimental route, and sees the band try out different guitar tones, and at times it borders on Folk Metal in the way it is played. This segues into the next song, "Lullabye", which begins in the same vein as the previous song, before becoming a whole other, monster of a song. It's basically Hardcore inflected Metal, which slowly gets heavier and heavier for no apparent reason, before recapitulating back to the dulcet tones which the song began on. The final song, "Look Through the Eyes", is short, but very groovy and is a decent song on which to end this album.

This band is good when it uses its imagination and begins to delve outside the Metalcore corner that they've essentially painted themselves into. I'd love to hear more of the band that played "Ordinary Scars" on their next record, because that is a genuinely good song. But sadly, for the most part, it's just run of the mill Metalcore that is on offer here, and they don't use their imagination to their advantage. Nonetheless, check them out. It may just be me that finds this to be the case.

3 Star Rating

1. Lift Off
2. Lost Moon
3. End of Emptiness
4. Implosion of Pain
5. …'Til It Keeps Me Awake
6. Psicostasia
7. Soul Vertigo
8. Ordinary Scars
9. Lullabye
10. Look Through the Eyes
Damiano Premoli- Guitars, Drums, Bass, Vocals
Record Label: Pavement Entertainment


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